Based in San Francisco, is an early childhood education blog by Tiva Lee Samaru. HER posts explore; through videos and other resources - original early childhood education curricula and ideas for enrichment classes, as well as, tips and tricks for classroom management and general childcare.

Playin' in a rhythm section

Playin' in a rhythm section

Playing in a rhythm section is definitely enjoyable. If you're not playing, then it is also enjoyable to watch. There is something captivating about the rhythmic vibe and music.

Once a rhythm section starts playing, you instantly feel like dancing. Regardless of your experience or exposure to it, even if you are listening to a rhythm section for the first time, you will find that previous sentence relatable. So many instruments make up a rhythm section all playing different melodies which all come together to create a sound that is as resonating as a heartbeat. This resonating sound compels you to move, smile, jump and sometimes even join in.

It is pretty normal to see folks who aren't players in the band, find their way into the action.

People use bottles and jewelry, striking the two together in time with the band. Others may start drumming on their coolers or buckets. Some may start singing or chanting and some may take over the spot of a player by beckoning them to do so. All in good fun though. 

This is our last Carnival themed, music activity and we wanted to go out with a bang. A literal bang. With the rhythm section as our focal point for these last few Carnival themed videos, creating a music activity around it made sense. 

The following activity involves rhythm sticks. The focus of this activity is to teach students about some of the different types of instruments that make up a rhythm section. Throughout the activity, the sticks will represent these different instruments. Different rhythmic|counting patterns are assigned as a numerical example of each instruments' normal phrasing structure when played. Guided by a song, students will use the sticks to play these patterns. 

How did it go?

Once we laid down the law about safety when using rhythm sticks in our classes and our students understood the repercussion for unsafe behavior, the activity went smoothly. Sticks are a pretty simple instrument for young children. A lot of the time, the only difficult thing about sticks is the safety aspect as children usually love throwing these instruments around the classroom or accidentally and sometimes deliberately, hitting their friends with it.

That aside, our students loved the continuous rhythmic changes. Since counting is something they love to do, it was easy for them to count along, which helped them understand the theoretical aspect of this activity a little more. As a result, deep and superficial exploration came easily. 

To up the fun level play around with the speed. Do it a slow, mid and fast pace. Maybe even challenge your students by trying the activity at a really, really fast pace. We did that in our classes and it made us laugh so hard because sometimes we were going so fast, the activity, in a way, became physically impossible to do.

One other thing to consider is, if you start the activity at a slow pace, it will help your students learn, understand and be more prepared when you start speeding it up.

Take a look!

If you are looking a new rhythm stick activity for your music class which dabbles in both the physical and theoretical application of music, then just click the play button below. You will be able to learn our original song and see how we used the sticks to represent different types of instruments. 

Play In A Rhythm Section,

Tiva & Randa

Prop it up

Prop it up

Carnival sounds

Carnival sounds